Energized by our introductory ride the day before, we got up Sunday morning and decided that it was a great day for a long ride. We chose our destination, and set out for St. Elmo Ghost Town!
The endless blue Colorado sky called us to come and explore. These are the type of days you hope never end.
One of the best parts of the journey was that Shawn loved to stop and take pictures as much as I did. To take a journey like this and not pause for photographs would be pointless to me! The beauty of a photograph will last long after our memory fades.
As we came near to Wilkerson Pass (9,504 ft), we saw these beautiful aspens and immediately took this dirt road to go explore them.
Spending time in and around these golden giants was an absolute treat. With the warm sun, blue sky, and slight breeze…it was one of those moments that I just felt so alive.
After well over an hour of being lost in the wonder of this beautiful and peaceful place, the open road beckoned us to return. We mounted the bikes and drove through the leaves as more gold blew across our path. There were other places to explore and I definitely wanted to see them…but I could have stayed here for hours.
This settler had a wonderful view of PIkes Peak in the distance…
The new landowners clearly prefer a little more privacy though
We finished meandering in and out of dirt roads, and then headed back to the pavement to continue west
A little while later, we made a brief stop on the descent in to Buena Vista. The view from the top of the parking area was amazing!
I don’t think either one of us were prepared for what we saw as we turned on to County Road outside of Nathrop. It was breathtaking!
We continued on towards Mt. Princeton and the canyon that would lead us up to St. Elmo
Riding in to St. Elmo was like riding back in to time! Even though I grew up in Europe and was surround by much older historical buildings, the fact that we were standing on the same walkways as people did in this town 100+ years ago was just amazing to me.
I think of the people who lived here, and the hardships they must have faced, especially in living through harsh, mountain winters. It occurs to me that many of us will never know how difficult it is to barely eke out a living like these pioneers and homesteaders did.
There was something refreshingly simple about some of the cabins. They took care of their owners’ bare necessities and not much else. As I walked past this cabin and around the bend in such calm and quiet, I was reminded that we really do not need very much to have a happy life. Many of the things that we own are luxuries that can make our lives better; but sometimes they also distract us from what is most important…being content.
With that said, one of the many modern conveniences that we enjoy has made trips to these a welcome thing of the past!
The light was fading behind the mountains, so we took these last portraits of each other and then, reluctantly, turned back to the future.
We made a quick stop for fuel and extra layers, and then pressed on through the dark until we reached a restaurant around 8:30pm that night.
After a fabulous dinner we rode the final hour back home, tired, and a little cold…but it was absolutely worth the journey.